Posted by: frburke23 | January 16, 2011

Thought for Monday, 2nd Week of Ordinary Time

Hebrews 5:1-10

Brothers and sisters:
Every high priest is taken from among men
and made their representative before God,
to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring,
for he himself is beset by weakness
and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself
as well as for the people.
No one takes this honor upon himself
but only when called by God,
just as Aaron was.
In the same way,
it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest,
but rather the one who said to him:
You are my Son:
this day I have begotten you;
just as he says in another place,
You are a priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.
In the days when he was in the Flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.


As I read today’s selection from Hebrews I give God thanks for the gift of the priesthood.  It is so humbling to be “taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.”  I certainly didn’t choose to be a priest, but it was God who called me to be His priest.  What an amazing privilege AND responsibility! 

Only with the help of God am I able to “deal patiently with the ignorant and the erring.”  But I am a sinner as well and ask that others deal patiently with me as well.  Because we are all sinners, priests included, we “make sin offerings for” ourselves “as well as for the people”.  When I celebrate Mass and pronounce the words of Jesus, “This is my body…” I realize what a sinner I am.  Who am I to be able to do this?

Priests offer sacrifices.  Jesus is the great High Priest and offered the one sacrifice for all people on the cross at Calvary.  When we priests celebrate Mass, we are not re-sacrificing Jesus.  At each Mass we go back to Calvary and recall Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection.   We offer prayers for ourselves and for the whole world, we open the Holy Scriptures, and we share in the Eucharist as Jesus commanded us to do.

It humbles me to my toes to be able to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for myself and the people of God.  I am a mediator between God and His people.  I hope to never take this privilege for granted.

And so every night before I go to bed I think of the wonderful people that I encountered during the day.  I lift them up to the Lord and ask Him to bless them and hold them in the palm of His hand.

Today I give thanks to God for the call to the priesthood.  And I give thanks for all the incredible people that I have met as a result of this calling.  May the Lord bless you as well as together we draw closer to our loving God.

Do I pray for guidance to follow my vocation?

Do I pass judgment on others without wanting to look at my own sinfulness?

Do I take time to reflect on my day and all the people I encountered?

Do I thank the Lord for His sacrifice on the cross?

Do I appreciate the gift of the Mass?


Fr. Burke

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